Regenerative medicine (platelet rich plasma, stem cell treatment and tenex) is a non-surgical and natural treatment to stimulate and enhance healing of injuries, such as osteoarthritis, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and degenerative musculoskeletal diseases.
Most simply defined, PRP is a platelet count above normal. Platelets are your body’s natural healing particles. When you get an injury, platelets in your blood go to the area of injury. Your platelets release growth factors (programming signals) that tell your brain you have an injury and what type of stem cells to send to the area so you get an appropriate healing response. Once concentrated out of a larger volume of blood, PRP can be injected under ultrasound guidance into the injured area to stimulate and enhance healing. PRP has been shown to be beneficial on conditions such as tendinitis/tendinosis, tendon tears, ligament sprains/tears, muscle tears, and osteoarthritis/ joint pain. PRP can also be used in the spine, where the injections are placed using x-ray guidance after careful confirmation that those structures are indeed the source of pain.
This process involves harvesting your stem cells from your bone marrow in your pelvis and concentrating the stem cells by processing the bone marrow in a specialized centrifuge. After first numbing the area so it isn’t painful, a needle is used to withdraw bone marrow from your posterior iliac crest (lower back area). This is the same procedure performed for over 50 years in hematology offices. Special centrifuges are then used to spin the bone marrow and separate out and concentrate the stem cells. The stem cells are then activated with platelet rich plasma (PRP) and injected under ultrasound guidance into damaged tissue or joints. Some of the most common applications of stem cell treatments are for osteoarthritis, avascular necrosis, tendon and ligament sprains/tears, tendinitis/tendinosis labral tears, and muscle tears. Stem cells can also be used in the spine, where the injections are placed using x-ray guidance after careful confirmation that those structures are indeed the source of pain.
Recently, percutaneous ultrasonic tenotomy (UT) has evolved as a potential minimally invasive treatment for tendinopathy. This has been performed at Swedish sports medicine since 2014. It is a novel technique in which phacoemulsification (sound waves) are used to debride (clean up) and aspirate bad tendon tissue through a small incision via a small handpiece. Studies have shown it to be safe and effective at treating tendinopathies in multiple different tendons, including documentation of success in treatment of plantar fasciopathy after previous release. It is most commonly used on Achilles tendinitis, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow), plantar fasciitis/ plantar fascial rupture, patellar tendinitis, quadriceps tendinitis, calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, gluteal tendinitis, and hamstring tendinitis.